Appeal for NIO to help infrastructure progress

Michelle Greeves
Michelle Greeves

The NIO has been urged to bring any influence to bear on the ongoing situation around the new Ulster University campus in Belfast following the Budget announcement by Secretary of State Karen Bradley on Thursday.

Joining other groups in welcoming the decision to continue the Small Business Rate Relief scheme, Michelle Greeves, president of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce said the infrastructure element was crucial to trade in the city.

“In line with our Belfast Manifesto, we also welcome the £200 million additional budget for infrastructure allowing major projects such as the York Street Interchange project to move forward.

“Belfast and indeed the rest of Northern Ireland needs a world-class sustainable transport system if it is to achieve the growth that is planned in future years.

However she said progress on the UU city campus was critical. The current phase of development has halted following the collapse into adminisration of four companies within the Lagan Construction Group; one of which was involved in a construction partnership on the scheme.

“We would also urge the NIO to help move on the completion of the Ulster University campus in Belfast,” said Ms Greeves.

“This project is of major importance to our members and the entire business community of Belfast as we look forward to the 15,000-plus students and staff living, studying, working and socialising in our capital city and the investment and regeneration this will bring.

“Any further delay in this scheme is delaying the growth of Belfast.”

“We as a Chamber urge our local elected representatives to get back round the table to agree on a strategy for the growth of our economy as quickly as possible.”